COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton skateboarders may only have to travel to the county’s west side for a skatepark by the end of the summer this year.
The Newton County Board of Commissioners recently approved the use of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds for construction of a skateboard park in Denny Dobbs Park on Georgia Hwy. 212.
The board approved a contract with low bidder Grindline Skateparks Inc. of Seattle, Washington, for $189,875.
Funding is coming from the recreation part of the SPLOST voters approved in 2017, county records show.
A total of $160,000 will be used for construction of the project’s approximately 4,000-square-foot first phase, with the remainder for pre-construction work and an overall master plan for the facility, said county capital projects manager Jeff Prine.
Construction of the concrete park — which includes a series of smooth slopes and valleys for skateboard riders — is planned to begin in the spring and be completed by the end of summer.
Officials said they selected Grindline’s bid over others. The company is considered one of the leading skateboard park builders in the world, Prine told county commissioners Feb. 2.
County Recreation Director Dwayne Mask said he and others, including County Commissioner Demond Mason and former director Ternard Turner, devised the original idea for a Newton County skateboard park in 2020.
He said recreation officials met with Grindline to begin work on the project Feb. 8.
Mask, a 30-year veteran of the department, said he had never worked on a similar recreation project.
“I’m kind of excited to see it done,” he said. “I’ve gotten quite a few calls about it.”
He said he expected county residents will have “good usage” of the facility.
“We’ve got quite a few skateboarders here,” he said.
Nearest skateboard parks are in Gwinnett County and in Clayton County, according to an online search.
Prine said the overall plan Grindline will complete will include a facility covering an estimated 1.5 acres in the southwest Newton County park at a total cost of about $750,000, Prine said.
County officials have not identified funding for its construction but sources could include future SPLOST referendums, Prine said.
Grindline has built skateboard parks worldwide, including one in Denmark and in 22 U.S. states including Hawaii and Alaska, according to its website.
In Georgia, it recently completed a park in Hapeville and built the 6,000-square-foot Arthur Langford Jr. Park Skatepark in Atlanta in 2015.